Digital Minimalism - Optimizing Your iPhone to be Intentional | Drake Weissman | Skillshare

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Digital Minimalism - Optimizing Your iPhone to be Intentional

teacher avatar Drake Weissman, Founder, eo LLC

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Guiding Principles

    • 4. Deciding Behaviors to Promote vs Avoid

    • 5. The Purge Part I

    • 6. The Purge Part II

    • 7. Turning Off Notifications

    • 8. Using Do Not Disturb

    • 9. Creating Your App Pages

    • 10. Categorizing Your Apps

    • 11. Setting Up Your Limits

    • 12. Setting Up Your Widgets

    • 13. Choosing Your Wallpaper

    • 14. Closing Thoughts

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About This Class

Digital Minimalism - Optimizing Your iPhone to be Intentional

If you find yourself constantly getting distracted by notifications and social media on your iPhone and are looking to win back some focus and sanity, this class is for you! 

Drake has spent many years experimenting with the best ways to apply minimalism to every aspect of his life to be intentional and make things simpler. You’ll hear the tips, tricks, and philosophies he uses to keep his iPhone working for him rather than against him and learn how to make the changes that work for your lifestyle.

In this class you’ll learn: 

  • The guiding principles of digital minimalism
  • How to align your phone with your priorities
  • How to determine apps to keep vs. delete
  • Best practices for managing notifications
  • How to organize + categorize your apps to be intentional


Who am I?

My name's Drake. I'm an entrepreneur, writer, and recent graduate of Northwestern University. I am the founder and former CEO of eo LLC, a dockless bikesharing company that has generated more than 20,000 rides since its inception. I'm a member of the inaugural class of Little Joe Ventures Fellows and was selected as one of Chicago's 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurs. I also am an avid reader, productivity junkie, and a published personal development author on one of Medium's top publications.


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Meet Your Teacher

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Drake Weissman

Founder, eo LLC


Drake is an entrepreneur, writer, and recent graduate of Northwestern University. He is the founder and former CEO of eo LLC, a dockless bikesharing company that has generated more than 20,000 rides since its inception. He is a member of the inaugural class of Little Joe Ventures Fellows and was selected as one of Chicago's 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurs. Drake is also an avid reader, productivity junkie, and a published personal development author on one of Medium's top publications.

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1. Intro: Hi, everyone. My name is Drake Weisman, and I'm excited to share it this course on digital minimalism with you. I am an entrepreneur writer and somebody that is obsessed with productivity and personal development. As part of this journey to optimize my life, I've come to apply the philosophy of minimalism to countless aspects of my life in an effort to simplify and be intentional. And I've experimented endlessly with different techniques and strategies. Many of these approaches that I've developed have been inspired by thought leaders and productivity and habit change, such as Greg McEwen, Cal Newport and Tony Stubble Bon, who have provided links to in the description. If you want to explore their philosophies further in this course, we're gonna be learning how to apply minimalism to your digital life and to configure your iPhone in a way that works for your needs. So let's get started 2. Project: So now, getting into the specifics of the project, you can expect to configure your notifications to reduce constant interruptions. To simplify the U X of your iPhone by assigning functions the APS you use and removing clutter toe, organize your APs to promote behaviors you want and limit behaviors that you don't to implement limits. To configure your widget, choose your background and much more. Well, this will certainly look different for you because of the priorities you have in the decisions. You're gonna make a wanted to show you an example of what the end product might look like. As you can see, everything is deeply organized with different pages and folders. I have my widget set up for my needs and notifications are under control. Now let's get into the guiding principles of the rest of this course. 3. Guiding Principles: before we get started getting into the tactical part of the lesson. I wanted to share the core principles that I use and that we should keep in mind when we're making changes. Embodying digital minimalism means optimizing for these three things, the first is being intentional. The goal here is that you want to be using your phone to get the outcomes you desire, which means being clear with what we want to use specific APS for what information we want to be presented with and how we want to spend our time. Well, we decide the behaviors and habits were intending to perform. We can use techniques to make it easy to do the things we want and difficult to do. The things we don't want next is being in control. When you're on your smartphone, you want to make sure that you were in the driver seat. So, for example, the timing of notifications shouldn't dictate where your attention goes. The goal here is to make sure we're able to direct what we're using our phones for, and not leave that up to whatever alert your phone wants to send you, and the last is reducing decision making the rat our days as were forced to constantly make lots of decisions about tedious things, like how to word emails or thinking about what shoes to wear. We developed decision making fatigue that takes away from our ability to make good decisions in the places where it matters. So when we simplify our routines and the number of decisions we need to make, we could be better equipped to show up where it counts, which is what this principle is all about. 4. Deciding Behaviors to Promote vs Avoid: the first step of this process is going to involve some reflecting. The reason for this is that your phone has to be personalized for you in your values so I can provide the framework. I can't tell you exactly what your phone should look like. So before we get started, you need to do some thinking. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, states that every action you take is a vote for the type of person us should become. When we think about our habits this way we can realize the importance and power of creating habits that fit with the identity we desire to possess. Once we identify these values and identities, weaken, decide the behaviors we need to be taking, and can then make the appropriate changes to reflect those with our phone. So the first exercise is to spend 10 to 15 minutes thinking about the following. What do you value? Things like honesty, loyalty, resilience. Who is the person you want to be and what behaviors are? Associate ID with those values and identities and also critical what behaviors contradict those values and identities, pause the video and really take some time here to think 5. The Purge Part I: So now that we have identified our identities and values and some of the behaviors that support them versus contradict them, we now have my favorite part of the process, which islets called the purge, where we start deleting APs. Doing this serves two purposes. First, when we delete haps that are harmful toward our goals, we helped to break bad habits. And second, simply getting rid of the clutter allows us to focus more on the APS that help us and to create the good happens. So now start the leading APS that either you don't use or contradict your values and identities. Hopefully, it's clear with some of these might be from the reflection exercise. Well, I have some suggestions, like the leading social media, APS and Games is really up to you to decide where you want your time and attention to go and what habits you on a break. It might be uncomfortable, but keep the mindset. How would the type of person you want to be spend their time for acts that you want to use less but are not ready to believe you can keep them? For now, move them to a later page we'll be setting up limits later. But when in doubt delete, you can always reinstall APS later if you need them. 6. The Purge Part II: Okay, I hope that was productive for you not to emotionally challenging. In the second purge, we're gonna be making sure we only have one app for any purpose. So from the APs that you have remaining, decide what APS are going to serve. What functions? Anything you want accomplished throughout your day should be able to be done with this few APs as possible. In order to reduce the amount of decision making, you have to dio. So the process here is to go through each app. You have left one by one and then make a physical or mental note about the function the APP serves you. For example, I used my clock app to set alarms. You strive a two, track my runs and then start to notice where there are overlaps and pick the best one and delete the rest. Common functions where I needed to cut down toe One app are things like meditation, APS, map, APS, workout house, podcast, APS and photo APS again have a bias to deleting here. But if you find that you have some every once in a while, type APS you can't delete, you can hold onto them. But move them to a later page. Also, don't worry about grouping or categorizing just yet. We're still focusing here on getting rid of clutter, to be ableto emphasize what is left. 7. Turning Off Notifications: Now that we've eliminated a lot of the clutter and assigned functions who are APS, it's time to focus on notifications. As part of being intentional and in control, you're gonna want to turn off nearly every type of alert. All these interruptions could be a huge productivity killer and could cause you to be at the mercy of things you can't control. Let's first go over what each type of notification is, and then I'll go through which to turn off and how to go about doing that. As the name states. A lock screen alert is a notification that pops up on your lock screen. A notification center alert. You see, when you're on your lock screen and you swipe up a banner alert is a notification that will pop up at the top of your screen while the screen is unlocked and the ash notification is the red dot Next to icons, there's greater convincing you that there's always something to investigate and take care of inside of a nap and last one. At least there's a sound alert, which is a sound that will accompany a notification. If your volume is on my recommendation, here is to turn off all five of these for almost every app for the reasons I mentioned before. For that reason, I'm on Lee going to touch on the apse and types of notifications I personally do leave on to give you a sense of what this might look like for you. I leave banners and sounds on for Amazon. Alexa Bleacher report FaceTime. Find my Google calendar maps messenger, Postmates slacks, bar, wallet in Venmo. And I leave all notifications on for phone messages and group me. Besides, for that, everything else is turned off all notifications. To do this, you're gonna head to settings notifications. And here you have the option to change the notification settings for all your abs. So let's use the Amazon Alexa app as an example. So if we want to turn off notifications completely, we're just gonna toggle the allow notifications option, and we're done. But if we want to select individually which of the five notification types to keep on, we go down here and make our selection individually. Tongling, honor off the notifications we want depending on what we decided. Your exercise for this lesson is to go to your notification settings and go through each app one by one. Assigning what you deem is an appropriate notification setting and ask, Always lean toward less. If you find something to be extreme, you could always make adjustments. 8. Using Do Not Disturb: This next tip is a very simple change that will supercharge your intentionality and that is turning on. Do not disturb what this does. This silence all your calls and notifications when it's on. My recommendation is to keep this on it all times to prevent the constant buzzing and alerts that might arise. Another option you have is to schedule your do not disturb to be on during certain high focus work periods, which is when it's most important. But I still think doing it all the time is better. Whether you're scheduling, do not disturb doing it all the time. Emergencies come up and there are people in our lives who are definitely worth making exceptions for, which is why I used the allow calls from favorites. Feature. This feature lets you choose who you will allow calls from when you're in. Do not sister. So be careful to choose the right people think family, friends, emergency numbers also well, it does lead to the occasional spam caller getting through. I allow repeated calls to ring because that often signals that someone really needs to reach me. Trust me when I say that for all of these notification changes, everything will be OK. People look at used to you not responding quickly and you will in the process, win back so much focus so turning on Do not disturb it's super easy. You just need to open your control center and tap the moon icon. But let me show you how to configure the settings I just mentioned. We're gonna go into settings and do not disturb. And if you're gonna opt for a scheduled version, you could toggle that on here and set your schedule. You're gonna wanna have silence always on to that your rules, same place, whether your phone is unlocked or not, and then allow calls from favorites and toggle repeated calls on then for adjusting your favorites. You just head into your phone and head over to favorites and use the plus and edit buttons at the top. So you're exercise here is configuring your do not disturb settings and adjusting your favorites. Good luck 9. Creating Your App Pages: Now we're gonna transition to thinking more about the placement of APS with inner phone. We want to create the optimal environment to promote good habits and to increase your speed at doing your everyday tasks. The reflections you've done will come in handy big time here to give you a sense of what to expect. We're gonna be creating three at pages one for essentials, one for potentially distracting essentials and one for everything else. Let's get into the details of each essentials. Page is reserved for the apse you're using very regularly or would like Teoh and are in line with the type of person you want to become. I having these APS on the first page, you're reducing friction and promoting the use of them. We can take a look at how my phone was set up to give you an idea of what I'm going for here. Perhaps, like Saletan, Strada Pocket Notion, spar and hit space are all APS who's used positively impacts my life. So they are on the first page. Then I have other APS like safari, Google maps, school calendar messages and Spotify that I constantly need. So having quick access to them promotes my productivity. But a very important note here is that they're not distracting or linked to any negative habits. A good example to demonstrate. My point here is that while I use slack all the time, I don't want it on my first page because I might find myself constantly checking it like aware newsfeed. The second page is for APS. You use regularly and want access to quickly, but don't want to promote using by default. So the APS I have here are slack Group me in YouTube, and I put those in a folder called Play to remind myself that using these APS might not be so productive. The key here, and the reason they aren't on the essentials page is that while I use thes frequently, I wouldn't want to create a habit of passively opening these APs. If I'm trying to pass the time, I want to be using an app like pocket to read articles instead of surfing slack channels. However, there are many cases where I'm using those APS productively, so I still need them for quick access, and the final page will contain just one folder called extras that contains everything else you have left. Rather than swiping over to this last screen and digging through this folder to find the app you are, you'll actually access the zaps by using the search function, forcing you to be ultra intentional about your actions. Another tip for this section is that you should decide what you want to be doing on your phone verse, your computer, for example. You may have noticed that I don't have my email task manager or any financial APS on the 1st 2 pages. That's because I've realized that I am just so much more powerful with managing these abs for my computer, so it's not worth my time to use them on my phone. So APS like the is live here in the Extras folder with the other Once in a while type maps . Your exercise is to create your three at pages and feel free to use this as another opportunity to delete more APS 10. Categorizing Your Apps: next step is you're gonna want to categorize APS my function, which shouldn't be too difficult because of the work you did in the second perch. Anything were. You had a similar function, but distinct use case. You're gonna want a group those together to make it easier to navigate and make functions clearer. We're focusing here on intentionality and reducing clutter. For example, it could make sense to group APS into folders like Morning Routine, Work out, commute or learn This way you know exactly what you're trying to do when you open an app and take back a sense of control from your device. If you're feeling the urge to make a bunch of folders, reconsider whether you're need all the apse in that folder or if that function could be accomplished by fewer APS, you don't want to use folders as a method to hoard APS 11. Setting Up Your Limits: What I want to talk about now is setting limits now. It's very likely that throughout this process you found that there were distracting APS that you were just not ready to delete. By imposing daily limits for APS, we can make sure we don't end up mindlessly scrolling and spending too much time on these APS that aren't our priorities. It's up to you to decide how much time to allow yourself to use these potentially distracting APS. Let's give you an idea. I have a two minute limit on Snapchat and linked in, ah, five minute limit on YouTube and Gmail in a three minute limit on Facebook. To set these up, we're gonna head into settings, go down to screen time klik app limits. We can toggle on APP limits and then click add limit. And here we're able to pick our app. So let's say Snapchat, and now we're able to choose how long we want to let ourselves use that up for a given day . And then, let's say a few minutes, four minutes. Click, add, and we're done. Your exercise is decide which APs need limits and how much time you will allow and then set them up. The shorter the better. With all of these changes, if it's too extreme, you always have the option to adjust. 12. Setting Up Your Widgets: we're getting into the final stretch here. The next step is setting up your widgets, which is allow you to get information from APS without having to open them, which can help you to de clutter even further and make using these abs faster. I like to use it for my battery level from my airpods, my parameter app and screen time. But there are lots of other great options to change your widgets. We need to swipe over to the left of the home screen and go down to where it says Edit. Here we can, uh, were removed any widgets and change the order. We also have the option to adjust the size and amount of detail we want for any which it by tapping this arrow in the top right hand quarter. There are lots of widgets that could be added, so I encourage you to explore what widgets would be best for you, and then select your desired widgets and set them up. Of course, less is more with more widgets. It's harder to find the information you're looking for, which goes against why we're adding widgets in the first place. 13. Choosing Your Wallpaper: The last thing we want to decide for a digitally minimal iPhone is what our wallpapers going to be. This isn't the most important of the changes you make, but as always, it's important to be intentional about the design of everything. My recommendation is to make the home screen all black or a very minimal design to keep things visually simple. And then for your lock screen, I suggest picking anything that amuses you or gives you joy. Maybe that's a picture of your family, your pet, your favorite sports team. Ah, vacation or something totally different. I, currently amusing to wallpapers from Wall P on IOS app with lots of cool wallpapers and will often rotate my lock screen every so often to keep things fresh. So think about and decide what you want your home screen and lock screen wallpapers to be. And remember that this isn't a huge deal. Feel free to have fun with this last exercise 14. Closing Thoughts: Alright, guys. So those are all the lessons I have for you? Hopefully, by now you feel like you've made some substantial changes to your iPhone to be more consciously designed for what matters to you. My closing thoughts are the following. Don't forget that your physical environment also largely affects your habits. So simple changes like keeping your phone out of sight when you're working can also keep you from getting distracted. There's no one perfect way to design your phone, and the specific tactics that work for you might not work for someone else. And lastly, configuring your phone is a constant experimentation, an ongoing process that will evolve as priorities and circumstances change. But the principles should always stay the same. I encourage you to share the changes you make here on skill share and to leave a review. Your feedback is super appreciated, and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. I look forward to creating more courses in the future, so make sure to follow my profile. And if you're interested in exploring some of my other content, check me out on medium and I also have a newsletter where you can stay updated on everything I'm reading and working on. Thank you for watching